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IMPORTANT UPDATE ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION REGULATIONS (SORs): ACTION URGED

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11th October 2006


Summary


News came from the Government late last week that the proposed SORs have been delayed by 6 months, as Government lawyers try and re-work the controversial law which Christian groups had argued was unfair and unworkable. It is thought that the delayed implementation was a response to the thousands of submissions made by faith groups to the Government’s consultation.


Although this is an excellent sign that the Government are taking our concerns seriously, it is extremely important to realise that April 2007 is when the Regulations will begin operating: the key decisions about how the SORs will be worded are being made NOW. This means that if Christians are to have an effect on the passage of the Regulations, to ensure that Christian freedom of conscience is protected in law, we must pray and act NOW.

  1. Full details and practical advice on how to do this can be found at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/sor/29sep6.php
  2. An excellent recent article on the SORs found in The Telegraph can be found at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/Press/t2oct6.php and another recent article, from the Daily Mail, can be found at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/Press/mail9oct6.php
  3. Background to the SORs and why they are an important issue can be found at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/sor/index.php

Full update


The Women and Equality Unit (the Government department who have put forward the SORs) announced last Thursday that they were delaying implementation of the Regulations until April 2007, despite an earlier firm commitment to bring them into force in October 2006. Unfortunately, despite our repeated requests, the Women and Equality Unit have not been able to give us any further information regarding exactly when a draft of the SORs will be published by the Government in preparation for a vote in Parliament.


What we do know is that as we write this update, the ministers and civil servants deciding this issue are entering the final stages of their consideration of the matter before they publish the draft of the law which they expect Parliament to agree to. Once the draft is published, it will be very hard to change it – no Regulation put before Parliament in this way has been defeated by a vote in over 30 years.


The conclusion is NOW IS THE TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE LAW MUST PROTECT THE RIGHT OF CHURCHES, CHRISTIAN ORGANISATIONS, AND INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS TO ADHERE TO THE BIBLE’S TEACHING ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY.


We also believe it is important to remember why many Christians see the SORs as a very significant threat to our freedom to live as Christians: if the SORs are not changed from the wording currently suggested by the Government in the consultation document, Christians will not have the freedom to act in accordance with the Bible’s teaching that the only rightful sexual relationship is between a man and a woman in a monogamous marriage. Without an amendment to the current proposals for the SORs, any Christian, church or Christian organisation who provide goods, services, facilities, education or premises, will be acting illegally if they refuse to provide such things on the grounds that such provision would promote, enable or encourage homosexual sex. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT OUR FREEDOM OF CONSICENCE AND FREEDOM TO ACT ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE IS PROTECTED IN LAW BY AN AMMENDMENT TO THE SORs.


An amendment to the law which offers the necessary protection to Christians has been proposed by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and can be found at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/sor/29sep6.php - scroll to the  bottom of the page and click on item ‘1)’ ).


We urge you to contact your MP to encourage them to adopt and support the amendment. It is important that you ask your MP to contact their party leader and also ask them to contact Meg Munn or Ruth Kelly (the ministers in charge of the Regulations) to convey your views.


By way of encouragement, we have received many letters from MPs who have told us that they are highly concerned by the drafting of the SORs, and that they have heard from their Christian constituents and are seeking to take action as a response. We praise God that He can and does use the humble efforts of those who speak out to uphold truth and justice in this nation.


Full details of how to lobby your MP can be found on our website at http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/sor/29sep6.php - scroll to the  bottom of the page and click on item ‘4)’ .



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